Rough Rides: Motion Sickness

A little girl is riding a merry-go-round.It can strike when traveling on land, in the air or at sea: motion sickness. And the mild stomach discomfort from a rough ride can quickly escalate to complete misery in a car, on an airplane or on a boat. It could even be triggered by a theme park ride, flight simulator or video game.

Motion sickness – also known as car sickness, air sickness or sea sickness – affects children ages 5 to 12, older adults, and women more often than other people, according to WebMD, which adds that the symptoms may include a headache, nausea, sweating and vomiting.

WebMD explains that motion sickness is caused by conflict within your body. If your balance-sensing system senses movement (like the rolling waves when you’re on a boat) but your other body parts (like your eyes) don’t, you get motion sickness.

The Mayo Clinic notes that your child’s doctor can provide information about over-the-counter medications, such as Dramamine (for children age 2 and older) or Benadryl (for kids age 6 and older), to help prevent motion sickness. It emphasizes that parents should carefully read the medication’s label to learn about potential side effects and how to give the correct dose.

Preventing motion sickness is important because it’s difficult to stop the symptoms after they begin. WebMD provides these tips for those who get motion sickness:

  • Keep your head still or lie down.
  • Take sips of clear, carbonated drinks like ginger ale, and eat some crackers.
  • Get fresh air.

Before you take a trip, talk with your child’s doctor for more information about preventing and treating motion sickness.